Daily Herald's 2017 Season Coverage
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updated: 10/5/2013 12:33 AM

Prospect hangs on to beat Wheeling

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Saturday morning is expected to be just like it has all season for Prospect's football team.

The players will arrive at school to watch film of the previous night's game.

"It will be the same film session," said Knights coach Mike Sebestyen. "But there's a win at the end of this one."

And there's an interception at the end by senior Casey Kurinec that made it the Knights' first win of the season, 10-7, before a homecoming crowd at Wheeling High School.

Prospect (1-5, 1-1) was protecting the 10-7 lead when Wheeling forced a punt and got the ball back on its own 8-yard line with 2:34 left.

The Wildcats drove all the way to the Knights' 18-yard line, where they had a first down following a 6-yard run by quarterback Amani Dennis.

However, on the next play, Kurinec intercepted the first pass of his career in the middle of the Knights' secondary with 26.5 seconds left to give Prospect its first Mid-Suburban East win.

"My outside linebacker (Eric Garmoe) re-routed his receiver and then all of sudden the ball came my way and I was there," Kurinec said.

"It feels great to get our first win and obviously gives us momentum for the next few weeks."

Neither team developed much offensive momentum in the defensive battle.

The Knights got on the board first when Luis Leguer booted a 32-yard field goal with 53 seconds left for a 3-0 lead.

Wheeling (1-5, 0-2) surged ahead 7-3 with 5:58 left in the third quarter when Dennis scampered 6 yards up the middle on a quarterback draw for a 7-3 lead.

Prospect answered when quarterback Matt Drew ran around right end for a 2-yard TD, completing an 80-yard drive for a 10-7 lead with 5:53 left in the game.

"Obviously, our offense came up big with that touchdown," Kurinec said. "And then our defense was able to hold the lead."

Sebestyen credited the defense as a whole.

"And then we got that nice play by Casey that ends the game," he said. "He played his technique, saw the ball and broke on it."

The Knights' first win came with some adversity as well. Three receivers who started against Hersey a week earlier were sidelined with injuries or illness.

As a result, Joey Kern, Andrew Fischer and Mike Ott all saw their first varsity minutes in the contest, being used as tight ends and receivers. Safety Andrew Inserra also lined up as a receiver.

"The fact is those guys came in prepared," Sebestyen said. "They stepped and they did what they had to do for us."

Drew completed passes to Ott, Inserra and Garmoe, who also rushed for 83 yards.

"I thought Eric (Garmoe) did a really nice job grinding it out in the second half," Sebestyen said. "And Matt did, too. That's was a nice sight to see when he scored that touchdown because we weren't able to score with that play the week before."

Running behind linemen Luke Wrede, Zack McDermott, Thomas Castro, Jackson Wrede, James Ford and Alex Matasareanu, Drew carried the ball 10 times for 42 yards.

"Matt did a great job finding the hole," Sebestyen said. "Every week he gets a little better, which is a good sign for his future."

Wheeling junior running back Isaac Branch kept the Knights' defense on its toes with 73 yards rushing.

Dennis completed 12-of-17 passes, including a big 31-yard strike to Zach Lett on the Wildcats' final drive.

"I thought we could have done some things better," said Wheeling coach Brent Pearlman. "We could have executed better. The guys played hard. We'll go back to work and try to get better. I don't think we did this week."

"I'm happy for our guys," Sebestyen said. "They have continued to battle and this week they saw the fruits of their labor."

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